A Westfield FFA Cup final four rounds into the Hyundai A-League season presents a new challenge for Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, who’s eying a third trophy this calendar year.
After hoisting the A-League grand final trophy in May and the Premiership crown a few weeks earlier, Muscat now has a Cup final to win.
But Perth Glory present a different challenge on Saturday night to Sydney FC six months ago, with the Victory coach wary of the unpredictable nature of teams this early in the season.
“I think it’s great that the Cup final is on a weekend,” Muscat he told reporters at the official pre-Cup Final press conference at AAMI Park.
“And the fact that it comes so early in the season I don’t think all of the teams are settled at this stage, so there is an element of unpredictability I suppose.
“But we’ve had a good look at Perth and as Kenny [Lowe] says, you don’t get to the final game after not having performed well.
“It’s going to be a difficult game and to give ourselves a chance we have to be at our best.
“We’ve concentrated on our preparation. Because if we get that right, again we give ourselves an opportunity to be successful.
“Preparations have been great this week on the back of a good performance – a dominant performance – in our last game. Preparations have been good and buoyant as well.”
To that point, Victory skipper Carl Valeri believes club form going into the FFA Cup final is important.
Victory completed Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League on Monday night, cruising past Wellington Phoenix 3-0 at Etihad.
The team has had the luxury of remaining in Melbourne to complete their recovery and prepare for Saturday night’s Cup final.
And while Melbourne has been hit with wild winds and heavy rains in the last two days, preparations have been smooth, said the former Italy-based midfielder.
"I believe taking form into a final is important. And I believe we played a very great game on Monday night. In saying that, it's been and done and we have to focus on tomorrow [Saturday].
"We've got to perform but in saying that we've got to win our individual battles.
"It's a final and everyone is going to be up for it. Everyone knows individual battles is key."